Lee Ji Hoon Opens Up About The Reshoots On “River Where The Moon Rises”
In “River Where the Moon Rises,” Lee Ji Hoon played Go Geon, the son of Go Won Pyo, the Gyeru Tribe’s Gochuga (Lee Hae Young), who was in conflict with Princess Pyeonggang (Kim So Hyun). The male lead, On Dal, was originally played by Ji Soo, but the actor was replaced partway through the drama by Na In Woo after accusations of school violence.
In the interview, Lee Ji Hoon spoke frankly about the reshoots required for the drama after the casting change. Na In Woo appeared in the drama starting in episode 7, but episodes 1-6 were reshot to replace the existing footage of Ji Soo. In order to reduce the burden on the production staff, several cast members, including Lee Ji Hoon, offered not to receive payment for the reshoots.
Lee Ji Hoon said, “When the news first broke, I wasn’t on set because I was on break that day. I heard about it through a phone call. The director is very vigorous and he has strong ‘boss’ tendencies. Since we had to start filming right away, there was no time to think about anything else. In Na In Woo’s case, I read somewhere that he had only one day to prepare, but he ended up filming 40 scenes per day. I didn’t have time to think about anything. He’s younger and more junior than me, so I needed to take responsibility as well instead of thinking too much.”
He said that his role in the reshoots was small compared to other cast members. “You could say that Kim So Hyun shot two dramas within five months,” he said. “She’s the one who participated in the most reshoots. I filmed all my reshoots within three days, so I was fine, but So Hyun and In Woo had to film reshoots for about a month.”
About the news that he had offered not to receive payment for the reshoots, he said, “I had no idea that the articles had come out, so my friends were contacting me like, ‘Why aren’t you getting paid?’ My agency believed that this wasn’t the time to discuss payments for reshoots when our drama’s life was on the line, and the cast and crew were struggling on set, so I think that’s why the articles came out like that. There’s a close friend of mine who is also in this drama, but he doesn’t have an agency and is going it alone. When those articles came out, I felt very apologetic toward him. I just want to focus on acting.”
Lee Ji Hoon shared that he struggled with Go Geon’s complex emotions as he teams up with Hae Mo Yong despite having lingering feelings for Pyeonggang, his first love. “It was really difficult to play him,” he said. “It’s easy to analyze and express a character if his relationships are clearly indicated, but Go Geon was always in the middle. The writer told me from the start that he’s an appealing character, but one that’s difficult to express and act.”
At the end of the drama, Go Geon meets a tragic end after speaking the words “I loved you,” leaving it ambiguous as to whether he was thinking of Hae Mo Yong or Pyeonggang. Lee Ji Hoon said, “I think the one person who was in his mind until his death was Pyeonggang. He had no ambition for power, he just wanted to win her heart, but since that didn’t work out, his life took the turn that it did. It’s not so much that he sought out Hae Mo Yong because he was rejected by Pyeonggang, but that Hae Mo Yong understood what he felt as he looked at Pyeonggang.”
He shared that he had discussed the last line with the writer and with Choi Yu Hwa, who played Hae Mo Yong. “I asked her which she thought would be better for her character to hear: ‘You were my mirror, so live well’ or ‘I loved you.’ She thought that ‘I loved you’ was better. I realized that Go Geon would have been better if he had heard some warm words from Pyeonggang as well.”
Watch “River Where the Moon Rises” below!